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Preview: T20 World Cup: West Indies vs. New Zealand - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between West Indies and New Zealand, scheduled to be played in Trinidad and Tobago on June 13.

West Indies square off against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup on Wednesday night knowing that they can put the Kiwis on the brink of elimination.

The tournament hosts would establish an insurmountable lead over their opponents in Group C if they can prevail at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Match preview

West Indies' Romario Shepherd celebrates with Rovman Powell after taking a wicket on March 25, 2023© Reuters

Although West Indies were provided with a favourable group in comparison to some of the others, there was an acceptance that they might need some things to go their way to qualify for the final eight.

That slice of good fortune has already materialised with Afghanistan thrashing New Zealand, the Black Caps' net-run-rate taking a battering in the process.

New Zealand still have three matches left to play and prevailing in each of them would keep them in the hunt for qualification, yet West Indies are in a position where they can guarantee that they finish above them in the table.

Daren Sammy's side were given the best start possible with fixtures against Papua New Guinea and Uganda, and they have taken full advantage, particularly last time out.

Having racked up 173-5 from their 20 overs, West Indies dismissed the minnows for just 39, currently giving them a superior net-run-rate of 7.774 compared to New Zealand.

From New Zealand's perspective, they still have that double-header with the rank outsiders to come, with the assumption being they will deliver four points like West Indies.

Nevertheless, defeat here would result in Gary Stead's men reaching two matches to go with little chance of qualification. That scenario would only change if Papua New Guinea upset Afghanistan.

Team News

Barring any injury issues, there is no reason why West Indies should line up any differently to how they did against Uganda.

Brandon King only made 13 from eight balls, yet the opener has credit in the bank from his 34 versus Papua New Guinea and the remainder of the top six batsmen all made at least 22 runs.

Each of the five bowlers also picked up one wicket apiece, albeit with Akeal Hosein being the pick of bowlers with sensational figures of 5-11.

New Zealand have had time to stew over their heavy defeat to Afghanistan and it is now up for debate whether they should react with changes or stability.

The most likely alteration could see Rachin Ravindra brought back into the team at the expense of Michael Bracewell, who posted a first-ball duck and figures of 0-27 off three overs.

West Indies squad: Rovman Powell (c), Alzarri Joseph, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

Series so far

West Indies

Match One: West Indies by five wickets
Papua New Guinea - 136-8 (20)
West Indies - 137-5 (19)

Match Two: West Indies by 134 runs
West Indies - 173-5 (20)
Uganda - 39 (12)

New Zealand

Match One: Afghanistan by 84 runs
Afghanistan - 159-6 (20)
New Zealand - 75 (15.2)

SM words green background

We say: West Indies to win

Although the belief levels will be at the opposite ends of the scale, New Zealand should not be discounted because of one defeat, particularly when West Indies have faced two minnows.

However, West Indies can exploit familiar conditions to heap further misery on New Zealand, albeit in a closer contest than the Afghanistan debacle.

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